Eastern Soul: A Photographic Odyssey through Russia & the Balkans
"Fresh & contemporary yet in the spirit of Cartier-Bresson."
Jason Bell, Award Winning B&W; Photographer
Pushkin House debuts Eastern Soul, May 2008 in Bloomsbury, London.
BBC Russian Service: photo essay of Eastern Soul May 2008, and in the international press including FOMA magazine in Russia and Balkan Insight.
Hookers, mafia and oligarchs? This photographic exhibition shatters the common Western stereotypes of a fractured and fractious Eastern Europe. Rather it seeks to show that the Orthodox Christian faith is, in fact, a key anchor in the lives of young and old alike while life around them changes inordinately. The accents of these changes feature too in the exhibition including as it does nightlife, work life, school life and home life.
Eastern Soul represents the first major effort by a Western visual artist to examine the relationship between the revived Orthodox Christian Church and post-communist identity, made possible through rare access to Orthodox holy places and a camera blessed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All the Russias. This provocative, hauntingly beautiful photographic odyssey is the result of years of work through Russia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Romania forming the first instalment of an ongoing project a cross the Orthodox Christian World.
Ultimately, Eastern Soul offer a prism through which life in the Slavic East can be viewed; lurching toward the future yet anchored by the traditions of the past: two thousands years of Orthodox Christian tradition and just 20 years of capitalism forming an inseparable whole.